seating with apple orchards in the background
photographed at Indigeny Reserve in Sonora, Calif.,
on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Indigeny Reserve is a
cider distillery with acres of apple orchards, a
tasting room and beautiful views.
something irresistible about autumn picnics. Summer’s
heat has waned and the crisp air makes us long for al
fresco feasts — perhaps with a Thermos of something warm
and hearty to accompany those sandwiches, cider and sides.
foothills of California’s Gold Country are dotted with
beautiful picnic spots. Here are just a few of our
HETCHY VALLEY, YOSEMITE
3,900 feet, the Hetch Hetch Valley enjoys some of the
mildest weather and longest hiking season in the park.
Tuck a sandwich in your day pack to enjoy on your hike, or
grab a perch at one of the picnic tables closer to the dam
or parking lot. Either way, grab that sandwich in
Groveland, where Kevin and Randi’s Old-Fashioned Meat
Market makes veggie wraps and sandwiches ($8) to order.
The Corned Beef Molly is especially popular.
Purchase a pass to enter the park ($30 per car) at
Yosemite’s Big Oak Flat entrance or — even more
convenient, if you’re there between May and October —
at Groveland’s Visitor Center, which is in the same
shopping center as the deli. Find Kevin and Randi’s at
18687 Main St., Groveland.
STATE HISTORIC PARK, COLUMBIA
tables are tucked among the trees and meadows of this
wonderfully preserved Gold Rush Town, behind the Fallon
Theatre, near the City Hotel, by the Columbia Engine
Company No. 1 firehouse and oh-so-conveniently near
Columbia Kate’s Bakery. So pack up that checkered
tablecloth and plan to pick up picnic fare when you arrive
in town. The bakery offers quiche, pot pies and Runsas,
hot pocket sandwiches whose fillings vary from ground beef
and swiss to a breakfasty egg, bacon and cheese. (But if
you choose to picnic on cinnamon rolls or scones instead,
we wouldn’t blame you. They’re delicious.) Need
sarsaparilla to wash that down? Brown’s Coffee House
sells sarsaparilla as well as lemonade, espresso drinks
and ice cream on Main Street.
Columbia Kate’s Bakery is open daily at 11256 State St.,
Columbia. Find Brown’s Coffee House at 22760 Main St.;
views alone would make this a perfect picnic destination:
160 acres of apple orchards, rolling hills and scenic
vistas. That you can nip inside Indigeny Reserve’s
tasting room to buy chilled hard cider and non-alcoholic
sips to accompany your picnic just makes it all the
better. Stop off first in Sonora’s historic downtown to
pick up pulled pork sandwiches ($9.75) at the Lighthouse
Deli — or, if you’re feeling spontaneous — head for
Indigeny directly. The ciderhouse gift shop sells crackers
and salami and cheese packs and, if you skipped the whole
picnic basket thing entirely, small sets of paper plates
Indigeny Reserve is open daily at 14679 Summers Lane on
the outskirts of Sonora. The Lighthouse Deli is open
Monday-Saturday at 28 S. Washington St.,
the summer months, this popular lake is such a draw,
cabins and campgrounds book up months ahead and traffic
slows to a crawl. But the lake turns serene and peaceful
in the fall, and all those barbecue grills and picnic
tables are yours to enjoy, sans crowds. Grab sandwiches
($6.50-$8.75) first at Alicia’s Sugar Shack in Sugar
Pine, where the Tall Classic Club and The Emily — a
turkey, bacon, avocado and jack sandwich — await.
Open daily at 24191 Highway 108, Sugar Pine;